Sharing Backyards takes root with the landless
Homeowner Michael Ackhurst (right) is letting Brant Cheetham (left) and Shauna MacKinnon (with baby Neve) grow a garden this summer in his unused backyard. Photograph by Ward Perrin, PNG, Vancouver Sun.
Avid gardeners work their neighbours’ lifeless yards and make them thrive
By Randy Shore
March 25, 2011
Sharing Backyards was founded four years ago in Victoria by the LifeCycles Project Society and has proliferated around the globe since then, with 41 websites covering 400 municipalities from Vancouver Island to New Zealand.
LifeCycles partners with local organizations such as Vancouver’s City Farmer to help build, host and maintain the websites.
A “Craigslist for urban agriculture” is a natural extension of the work they have been doing in Vancouver for 33 years, said City Farmer executive director Mike Levenston.
“It’s another way to access private land,” said Levenston. “Land is the biggest issue in urban agriculture in Vancouver, where to get it, how to find it.”
“The more we build up and the more we densify, the harder it is to find land to garden, that’s why there’s a waiting list at every community garden,” he said.